4 Tips For Cleaning A Dusty Stair Lift For Better Performance

Posted on: 29 December 2016

Stair lifts rely on a smooth and friction-less glide between the rail and the chair, so dirt, dust, and pet hair can interfere with safe performance. However, incorrect cleaning also runs the risk of damaging the lift so it doesn't operate anymore or moves erratically. Remove debris without damaging the delicate components by following these tips.

Vacuum and Wipe

Start by removing all the dust and other debris with a vacuum nozzle. For the best results, use a soft bristled attachment to knock loose stubborn dirt as you work up the rail. If the vacuum isn't enough to get the rail smooth and clean again, use a dry or slightly damp lint-free rag to wipe the top and sides of the rail.

Avoid Solvents and Waxes

When sticky residues make it hard to wipe the rail clean, it's tempting to spray a common household cleaner or try polishing it with furniture wax. Unfortunately, solvent-based cleaning products can damage the coating on the rail that controls friction for proper feedback in the control system. Wax-based products have a similar effect in changing friction levels. Stick to a damp rag with no cleaning products or check the manufacturer's manual for cleaning products that won't damage your particular equipment.

Choose the Right Lubricant

It's not enough just to keep the stair lift track and rail as clean as possible. After each quarterly cleaning, apply a thin layer of white lithium grease on the rack and teeth of the lifting mechanism. Don't apply any lubricants to the rest of the rail unless instructed to do so by the manufacturer in their maintenance recommendations.

Sponge the Seat

Spills and stains can make a brand new stair lift look a lot older than its age. Keep your mobility equipment looking like new by cleaning away any spills immediately with a damp sponge or rag. If the chair has a upholstery fabric or vinyl cover, you can use a little dish soap and a dabbing motion to clean away dirt before finishing with a clean damp sponge.

Consider using a furniture sealing spray to help fabric upholstered seats resist staining, but be sure to cover the rest of the stair lift's parts with plastic sheeting or canvas drop cloths before spraying any kind of silicone or wax-based product. These kinds of furniture sprays can corrode metal parts, interfere with safety sensors, and change the friction of the stair lift rail if a little overspray drifts the wrong way.